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PPCC FST Faculty Lauded

Colorado Springs, Colo. – March 5, 2015 – Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) Fire Science Technology faculty, who also serve on the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD), were recently recognized for their accomplishments at the CSFD’s Annual Awards Banquet.

“The Fire Science Technology (FST) department is proud to be surrounded by some of the best firefighters around and these accomplishments are just an example of how strong the program is and will continue to be in the future,” said Jamie Gutschick, PPCC, Fire Science Technology, co-chair.

Doug Pape, a 15-year veteran of the CSFD and PPCC adjunct instructor for five years, was awarded Firefighter of The Year Award. He was selected from 400 CSFD firefighters for his willingness to share his expertise with others and for his dedication and commitment to the department and the community.

The following firefighters received CSFD’s Medal of Valor for bravery and courage under extremely difficult circumstances and for their heroic actions during their response to the Drake Power Plant Fire last year.

  • Jamie Gutschick:  13 years with CSFD; 10 years with PPCC
  • Jeremy Kunze:  11 years with CSFD; four years with PPCC
  • Travis Allen:  10 years with CSFD; four years with PPCC
  • Justin Cihak:  four years with CSFD; one year with PPCC

The PPCC FST program, started in 1969, offers three associates degree paths within Fire Science: Fire Science Technology, Fire Service Management and Fire Science Wildland. The program focuses on student success by teaching both hard skills and the concepts of ethical and moral decision-making in all aspects of the firefighter profession. Students range from those wanting to become career firefighters to current career firefighters from all over the country who want to obtain their degree.

Pikes Peak Community College is in its 46th year of operation and has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1975. It is a two-year college offering 175 associate degrees and various certifications in career and technical fields. With four campuses and two military education centers in El Paso County, PPCC serves approximately 22,000 students annually.